Set in a rural town in Georgia, American Siege follows several characters, including three young adults who decide to break into the home of a wealthy doctor and hold him hostage. These young men believe that the doctor holds answers to questions they have. Once inside the doctor’s house, they find a large, locked, safe door. They wonder what secrets the doctor is hiding from the community and what’s behind the door.
After the doctor is captured and held against his will, it’s not long until the town’s Sheriff, Ben Watts (Bruce Willis), is advised of the situation. The Sheriff is known for taking care of the town’s wealthiest people, including the Mayor Charles Routledge (Timothy V. Murphy). The Mayor puts a stern word on the Sheriff to get this new hostage situation under control asap as the FBI will be arriving within an hour to handle it. The Sheriff is also told that the doctor being held hostage must be kept alive. But as the Sheriff interacts with the three gang members, he begins to suspect something bigger is at play. Now he must choose to face his past faults and become the town’s saviour.
American Siege is a film filled with multiple characters and packed with several subplots. The numerous characters include the three gang members, a doctor, a sheriff, a Mayor, the Mayor’s son- and the list goes on. With multiple characters, big actors such as Bruce Willis naturally have less screen time. A lot is going on in the plot, and the film begins with multiple mysteries and unanswered questions in an attempt to excite and hook audience members.
The performance from Bruce Willis is a slight improvement compared to some of his recent work. While I’m not saying he’s amazing here, I will state the actor certainly seems more energetic in this feature. The film’s villain and corrupt Mayor, Timothy V. Murphy, delivers more enjoyable moments than I was expecting, outshining Bruce Willis. While the two leads delivered more than I expected, the film is still uninteresting due to the script. Most of the dialogue here feels rather uninteresting, and the majority of lines are unfitting and even cringe-worthy.
As a plot, American Siege is extremely dialogue-heavy. Filled with multiple subplots and backstories, it’s very easy to get lost, and at times I struggled to understand what characters were even speaking about. At times characters will speak on for far too long, either about their past or other characters who are uninteresting and forgettable. I found myself zoning out with boredom many times. The filming style is also a major disappointment. Most of this film feels like it’s been done on a handheld camera, continually moving around even during the simplest moments. The camera moved so much that I found myself highly distracted and, at times, irritated.
Overall, movie lovers by now know what they’re getting themselves into with another Bruce Willis movie. To my surprise, Bruce Willis is ever so slightly more motivated on-screen here, delivering a few minor moments that feel more fitting for the actor. However, I still can’t deny that the characters deliver many unfitting, cringe-worthy lines and uninteresting dialogue. While the setup contains a fun mystery and concept, the plot is uninteresting. Due to it being extremely dialogue-heavy, I lost track of what was happening and zoned out upon my first viewing. American Siege (2021) is Now Available on Blu-ray & DVD!